How to install Dig on a Windows 8.1 64-bit system

This installation procedure will extract only  relevant libraries and executables from the BIND 9 package, and not install a full-blown DNS server. The installation method is also applicable on Windows 7 64-bit systems.

Head over to and download the BIND 9.10.0-P2 package. Select the 64-bit version and leave the 32-bit package as a last resort. The 64-bit version is dependent on the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package, which you can download and install from

Why is it preferable to go with the 64-bit version of BIND 9 on a Windows 64-bit system, when 32-bit applications work just fine? Since dig is a command line tool there are a few things to take into account. On a Windows 64-bit system, the command line interpreter (cmd.exe) will be running in 64-bit mode. That means it will look for executables under %SystemRoot%\System32\.
The System32 folder, despite its name is designed for 64-bit executables on Windows 64-bit systems.

Note: On Windows 32-bit systems, the %SystemRoot%\System32\ folder is indeed for 32-bit executables.

Windows Command-line interpreter

The command prompt with its 64 and 32-bit executables

The correct folder for 32-bit executables on Windows 64-bit systems is %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\, again ignore the clever naming scheme as WOW64 stands for “Windows (32-bit) on Windows 64-bit”. Anyhow, if you opted to install the 32-bit version of BIND 9 and thus extracted the executables and libraries to %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64, you’ll need to run the 32-bit version of cmd.exe by issuing the command:


The next step is assuming that the package of choice was the 64-bit version of BIND 9, and that the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable is already installed. If not, then make adjustments accordingly. Open the file and extract the following files to %SystemRoot%\System32\(moving files into the System32 folder requires administrative privileges).


Finally, fire up the command prompt and check if the installation was successful by doing a DNS query:

Dig on Windows 8.1 64-bit

Dig on Windows 8.1 64-bit

Roger Comply avatar
Roger Comply
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